The Venice Film Market’s Final Cut in Venice workshop, which provides support and partnership opportunities to films from Africa and the Arab world, has partnered with Cairo and Abu Dhabi-based marketing and distribution company Mad Solutions and also with Abu Dhabi’s Sanaad fund.

These partnerships underscore how Final Cut, which started out three years ago with a focus on African movies, is shifting more towards Arab cinema because “there just aren’t that many African movies out there,” says VFM topper Pascal Diot.

The MAD Solutions award comprises promotional and distribution services in the Arab world offered to one of the contending film projects in the workshop, not necessarily and Arab title. Sanaad, which continues to support Arab cinema despite the scrapping earlier this year of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival which it was a part of, will provide the winner of best Arab film award in Final Cut with a prize of 10,000 Euros ($11,000).

More than 50 films were submitted for the Final Cut in Venice workshop and six projects were selected to participate:

“Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim” by Sherif Elbendary (Egypt)
“House in the Fields” by Tala Hadid (Morocco)
“Path of Paradise” by Atia Al Daradji (Iraq)
“Roosters of Beirut” by Ziad Kalthoum (Syria)
“Separation” by Hakar Abdulqadir (Iraq)
“Zaineb Hates the Snow” (pictured) by Kaouther Ben Hania (Tunisia)

Final Cut will take place at VFM Sept. 7-8.